Adelaide Crows apologise to former AFL star Eddie Betts following new book airing claims about preseason

Former AFL champion Eddie Betts says his kind slumped after he felt disrespected and traumatised at an Adelaide Crows preseason training journey, accusing the camp of cultural insensitivities.

Key factors:

  • Former Crows and Carlton star Eddie Betts has launched a biography
  • The book consists of particulars about a controversial Crows preseason training camp in 2018
  • The Crows’ chief government has apologised

Betts’s biography The Boy from Boomerang Crescent, which was launched at present, features a chapter on the controversial 2018 Adelaide Crows’ preseason training camp following a devastating defeat to Richmond within the 2017 grand closing.

In it, Betts describes the anxiousness and anger he felt following the camp and the following fallout.

AFL Players’ Association chief government Paul Marsh stated the affiliation would contact all gamers who attended the 2018 camp to get a greater understanding of points which may have arisen.

In an announcement, he stated the affiliation had beforehand spoken to gamers about the camp, however primarily based on the expertise detailed in Betts’s book, he now believed “players felt pressured into remaining silent”.

“The details outlined by Eddie Betts in his new book about the 2018 Adelaide Crows training camp are extremely concerning and difficult to read,” he stated.

“We commend Eddie on the courage he’s shown in telling this story and are troubled by the ongoing hurt caused to Eddie and his family.”

In one instance, Betts wrote how private particulars he had confidentially shared with a camp counsellor had been used to verbally abuse him in entrance of teammates throughout a bodily and emotionally gruelling “initiation”.

Among the insults yelled whereas he “crawled through the dirt” was that the father-of-five can be a “sh** father” as he was “raised by only his mother”.

Betts, who joined the Geelong teaching staff following his retirement final 12 months, described the incident as “traumatising” and had him “broken to tears”.

Eddie Betts holds his hands out and looks at a yellow AFL ball while being challenged by a Suns player

Eddie Betts returned to Carlton in 2020.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

The 350-game veteran stated teammates had been recruited to verbally abuse one another throughout the identical train.

“I’ll live with this shame for the rest of my life,” he stated.

Betts stated gamers on the camp had been prevented from showering, had to give up their telephones, and had been transported blindfolded on a bus that “reeked of off food” with the Richmond theme music loudly enjoying on loop.

Betts particulars how First Nations rituals had been misappropriated, which he discovered “extremely disrespectful”, and references to sacred Aboriginal phrases “were chucked around in a carefree manner”.

“When I started to talk to people around me about my experience, I started to realise that what we’d been put through was all just a bit f***** up, and I rightly became angry,” he stated.

A man and a woman with five children gathered around them stand on a dirt path in front of a tree

Eddie Betts along with his spouse Anna and 5 kids in Darwin in November 2021.(Instagram: annascullie)

Betts stated he raised his considerations with the membership and requested to take away Aboriginal gamers from additional “mind training exercises” with the corporate behind the camp, which continued to work with the Crows till later that 12 months. The membership “mutually agreed to part ways” with the corporate in June.

“Three weeks after I addressed the team about my concerns, I was told that I hadn’t been re-elected to the leadership group. I was devastated,” he wrote.

Crows chief government Tim Silvers, who solely joined the membership final 12 months, stated he would examine Betts’s claims that he had been dropped from the management group because of elevating his considerations.

Silvers stated he was “saddened” to learn the influence the camp had had on Betts.

“It obviously hurt him in a number of ways,” he stated.

Silvers described Betts as a “legend” who “lit up the Adelaide Oval for a long period of time”.

A man wearing a suit speaks to microphones in front of a blue and red banner

Adelaide Crows chief government Tim Silvers apologised to Betts for his expertise on the camp.(ABC News: Camron Slessor)

Silvers acknowledged the camp “probably wasn’t the right move at that time” and apologised to Betts and “any of our playing group who had a negative experience”.

“To have someone like Eddie, who has now left our club, to have a negative experience, saddens me,” he stated.

Silvers stated the membership had new management and was shifting “in a positive direction”.

Betts acknowledged within the book {that a} SafeWork SA enquiry had cleared the membership of breaching any office security legal guidelines, however he wrote: “My view remains that the activities there were inappropriate, counter-productive and culturally unsafe.”

books of eddie betts on bookshelf, with his face on the front cover

Eddie Betts’s biography, The Boy from Boomerang Crescent, reveals claims about the Crows’ preseason training camp.(ABC News: Ben Pettitt)

In an announcement made in 2018, the Crows stated SafeWork SA’s investigation “found neither the club nor any other person or organisation, breached any work health and safety laws during or in relation to the camp”. 

SafeWork SA offered no extra data about the investigation. 

Crows participant Rory Laird, who additionally attended the camp, described Betts as considered one of his “close mates” and a “loved figure” on the membership.

“I think each individual had different experiences and I actually wasn’t on that part of the camp I guess, so I can’t really comment on the ins and outs of it,” he stated.

“But obviously as a former teammate and a friend, you don’t like hearing about that.”

Betts, who moved to Carlton in 2020, wrote of the persevering with toll the camp took, saying his “on-field form slumped” at the beginning of the following season and describing 2018 as “tough”.

“Personally, I felt like I’d lost the drive to play footy, and to be honest I’m not sure I ever had the same energy I did before that camp,” he wrote.

The ABC has contacted Collective Minds for remark. 

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